How to Choose Mulch

Decide to mulch. Here are a few reasons that you might want to mulch:

Mulch holds in soil moisture
Mulch prevents soil temperature fluctuation
Mulch protects plant roots from cold
Mulch protects plant roots from heat
Mulch prevents weeds from germinating and growing
Mulch can add nutrition to your soil

Mulch protects the temperature of the soil, so plants can set fruit. Learn about – Wood bark or chips – this mulch looks neat and attractive, stays where you put it and decays fairly slowly. They add nutrition to the soil but don’t make too thick a layer, 2-3″ is good or you create an area that bark damaging insects can hide.

Mulch = Large fruits… Learn about – Decaying leaves – this mulch keeps the weeds down and hold the moisture in well and… they are usually free. They are not particularly attractive though.

Mulch = Beautiful Flowers Learn about – Compost – this mulch adds nutrients to your soil as it breaks down. If you have your own compost bin it can be free and plentiful. However if it contains manure or grass clippings it can burn your plants.

Learn about – Pebbles or gravel – this mulch has a nice neat look and it’s very easy to install. It won’t wash or blow away easily and will last a long time. It does not provide any nutrition to the soil and if mixed in with the soil can be very difficult to remove. If you ever want to take it out to re-design, it can be a big pain!

Learn about – Grass clippings – this mulch is cheap and easy to get a hold of if you have a lawn. Since grass decays quickly you will have to replenish your mulch often. Only apply an inch or so at a time or it can become slimy when watered. You might be adding grass seed to your planter beds if the lawn has gone to seed.

Avoid Coco Mulch… it can harm animals Choose your mulch. There really isn’t a right or wrong type of mulch. You have to weigh all the pros and cons of the mulch and think about your garden, the plants in your garden, and even your lifestyle. It would be good to experiment with different kinds of mulch, you may find that a certain type of mulch is better for one area than another, or one time of year or another. The most important thing is that you spend quality time outdoors enjoying your garden, so think of it all as a fun experiment and go with the flow!




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